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Michigan's Economy Improving

From an article in USA Today by Haya El Nasser titled "Michigan pulling itself out of slump":

Detroit, Michigan's most populous city, has shrunk by more than 50,000 people this decade to about 900,000. Its biggest industry, automobiles, has been battered by global competition. One of its largest employers, General Motors, lost $10.6 billion last year and has offered buyouts to more than 100,000 workers. But fresh county population estimates from the Census Bureau show modest turnarounds in several other parts of the state. Sixty of Michigan's 83 counties have grown this decade, and 19 had population gains of at least 5%... Michigan is moving away from manufacturing and tapping its intellectual base around universities and medical centers.... So far, the gains have been concentrated in three regions: •West. Counties including the cities of Muskegon, Holland, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are seeing modest to robust growth. A highway extension south of Grand Rapids, home of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, has opened neighboring counties to commuters. The Grand Rapids area is attracting medical investment and professionals. "They're attractive, quality-of-life places and have a somewhat more diverse economic base," says John Austin, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and vice president of the Michigan State Board of Education. "It's close to Chicago." •Southeast. Washtenaw County, home of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, is a center of research and development and biotech activity. It's a place "where there are educated people, where knowledge works," Austin says. •Northwest. Traverse City and counties on the shores of Lake Michigan are benefiting from tourists and retirees moving in. Beaches and other natural attractions are luring entrepreneurs and executives who can work anywhere because of wealth and technology.

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